Rock ‘n’ roll panto will get you in a spin

It’s shocking! It’s rocking! It’s incredibly cool!
For this baby shower bring a cagoule!

Slip on your spandex, shake ya booty,
And help change the fate of Sleeping Beauty!

How could I resist that invitation? Everyone raves about the Everyman Theatre’s legendary “Rock ‘n’ Roll” pantos. In fact, I know quite a few friends who take their families every year.

So even though I had always favoured the thought of a more traditional panto, this year I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go and…… what a show!

My daughter and I went to see the Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll panto Sleeping Beauty – but there’s nothing to yawn about in this unconventional version of the classic fairytale.

Writing duo Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton teamed up with musical director Greg Last to make Sleeping Beauty as cool as it can be – a traditional tale with lots of 21st century twists.

The panto tells the tale of a beautiful baby princess Rosa who is cursed by the wicked fairy Magnificent when the Queen forgets to invite her to the christening.

The fuming fairy puts a curse on Rosa, stating that at the age of sixteen, she will prick her finger on the spindle from a spinning wheel and die.

Another fairy swiftly casts a magic spell to change the curse so that, when she pricks her finger, Rosa will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by a handsome prince.

The story is brought to life by a super talented cast featuring some familiar and new faces including the formidable Gracie Lai as Magnificent – the wicked fairy who glitters with evilness.

Stephanie Hockley stuns as a feisty modern-day heroine, Princess Rosa, while Adam Keast and Matthew Quinn provide the perfect comedy double act as Sir Roger and Queen Gladys who had us all in stitches.

There are all the usual innuendos, flatulence and colloquial jokes that you’d expect in panto, as well as the obligatory water pistol scene, providing plenty of belly laughs and a squirt in the eye (don’t forget your brolly!)

The costumes and set are turbo-charged with glorious technicolour. But it’s the rock ‘n’ roll music that sets this panto apart, as the panto features a range of cracking hits from Queen and Blondie to the Proclaimers, which got the audience on their feet throwing some shapes.

The live band provides plenty of singing and energetic dancing for all ages to join in with. And when the cast are not on stage, they leg it up the stairs to pick up their instruments and join the band.

Personally, I thought Prince Casper (Jamie Noar) had an amazing voice and performed a beautiful duet with Princess Rosa.

We loved the ‘Back to the Future’ style time-travel scenes which are brilliantly played by Danny Burns as Doc Toc who plays a number of characters much to the audience’s amusement.

Now I can see why the rock ‘n’ roll pantos are such a favourite with Liverpool families with their unique style of madness and mayhem, hilarious gags, live music that will have young and old toes tapping and A LOT of water…

The style of the Everyman auditorium means that you feel very close to the stage which is very appealing for young theatergoers as you feel like you’re part of the action.

I heartily recommend you take your family to see this superb panto – if you snooze, you lose!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll panto is also inclusive with a British Sign Language performance on Monday 6 January, two audio described performances on Thursday 9 January, a captioned performance on Saturday 11 January and an autism-friendly/relaxed performance on Monday 13 January.

Sleeping Beauty runs until 18 January 2020, with tickets priced from £15. Tickets are available by calling Box Office on 0151 709 4776 or at www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on